There are positives in all this, as the Green agenda will create new opportunities to replace those that are now disappearing. But for the moment, at least, the risks associated with a likely lengthy and deep recession are likely to dominate. Please be careful out there.
Chemicals and the Economy
This is why we are facing a K-shaped recession. Companies and investors have a difficult time ahead. They not only have to navigate a potentially major downturn. But they also have to completely reposition their portfolios for the New Normal world that will follow.
OPEC+ oil producers saw prices tumble $10/bbl (13%) on Friday as the world woke up to the fact that the next phase of the pandemic may be underway. And this is not the only challenge that they face. OIL PRICES HAVE ONLY BEEN HELD UP BY MAJOR SUPPLY CUTBACKS The first is the challenge from […]
Plastics producers are now being squeezed from both ends of the value chain. Upstream, the growing demand for Electric Vehicles is starting to lead to refinery closures, reducing feedstock availability. Downstream, brand owners are stepping up the pressure for increased use of recycled plastic, as the new Global Commitment report from the Ellen Macarthur Foundation […]
Global smartphone sales took a hit in Q3, disappointing those who had hoped the economy might be moving into full recovery mode. And the market continues to see a major shift in consumer preferences: Back in 2013, sales were in turbo-charged growth mode, with volume rising 41% by year-end. And 2014 saw volume up 31%, […]
Net Zero is clearly the key issue of our time. With COP26 about to start, 3 key elements need to come together to ensure success. Political leaders have to agree to meet the Net Zero targets, and to provide $100bn/year to help poorer nations fund the changes needed. But nothing will happen on the ground […]
The US stock market bubble just keeps rising. And every investor “knows” that the US Federal Reserve will never let it burst. But the Fed can’t control the fallout from the bursting of China’s ‘subprime on steroids’ real estate bubble. Could this also mean the end of the Fed’s bubble? There is no doubt that […]
Unsurprisingly, it turns out that Brexit still isn’t “oven-ready”, despite the UK government’s promises back in 2019. Instead, as many of us pointed out all along (and The Times cartoon confirms), it is set to lead to years of dislocation and disruption for the UK economy. Of course, the pandemic made things worse. But it […]
Looking back over the 2020s, it is easy to see how forward-looking companies emerged as Winners in the race to decarbonise, as I discuss in my new analysis for ICIS Chemical Business. “If we are going to hold the rise in the Earth’s temperature to 1.5 degrees, we must reduce emissions significantly between 2020 and […]
China is at the start of its biggest economic shake-up since 1978, when Deng Xiaoping launched his post-Mao reform programme. President Xi Jinping’s ‘Common Prosperity’ policy aims to retain his focus on increasing living standards. But it wants to spread the wealth far more widely. The electricity rationing now underway across China highlights the need […]